Author Topic: "The elusive yet perfect pie"...you can say that again!  (Read 3194 times)

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Offline wucactus1

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"The elusive yet perfect pie"...you can say that again!
« on: February 06, 2011, 08:07:17 AM »
We I made pizza last night for the first time in while...School has started and it has been kind of hectic, definitely a change of pace from the holiday break, where if I wasnt baking pizza I was making pizza dough and because of this constant practice I was able to make the greatest pizza ever, Now much Like Chau I am trying to re-create it, but I am faced with several difficulties...
    Instead of a gas oven I am now using an electric(I swear it dries out the dough and doesnt get as Hot)
    A different stone...Pampered Chef
    The fact that last night I ran out of AT and had to Use some KABF...
    I didnt write explicit directions down on procedure, though I posted a short hand version on the forums...
Other than these everything is essentially the same, but I am unable to re-create this beautiful crumb that I made a little over a month ago...I dont know if its kneading, the flour, fermenting or what...
It would seem that the dough was kneaded enough, because upon being placed in the fridge for 30+hours it window paned beautifully, rather quickly might I add, so I figured I better stop and let the Cold Fermenting do the rest and the charring was nice on both, but for some reason the oven springs and crumbs are suffering...
Here are some pics of the pizza its crumb and then the crumb Im shooting to re-create, isolate and replicate consistently...Maybe you guys could chime in and help me solve this problem...


Offline wucactus1

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Re: "The elusive yet perfect pie"...you can say that again!
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2011, 08:08:20 AM »
the crumb Im trying re-create...

Online Jackie Tran

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Re: "The elusive yet perfect pie"...you can say that again!
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2011, 08:22:54 AM »
Pizza making! It's a b*tch ain't it?  :-D  As in medicine, when the doctors don't know what is going on, they say it's multi-factorial.  ;D

You can likely make a similar crumb to the one you had before with the new flour, oven, and stone BUT it would definitely take some time, tweaking, and paying close attention to what you are doing. 

The AT's you were using.  Was it the bromated version?

Chau

Offline wucactus1

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Re: "The elusive yet perfect pie"...you can say that again!
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2011, 08:26:30 AM »
Yeah Bleached and Bromated, from Pennmac.  Im about to put in another order, but until then Im stuck with KABF...

Offline jonesyb

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Re: "The elusive yet perfect pie"...you can say that again!
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2011, 08:34:00 AM »
the crumb Im trying re-create...

This is simply outstanding and exactly what I'm looking to achieve.

Offline wucactus1

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Re: "The elusive yet perfect pie"...you can say that again!
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2011, 08:43:34 AM »
That pizza was by far the best pizza I have ever had, period from anywhere, and sometimes I wish I wouldnt have had it, because now it has made subsequent pizza making more of a laborious test, and most often a let down...they are still good, but not great...and everytime I make the dough, Im sure its the one and so far it hasnt been, maybe next time...
I just confirmed my order for 10lbs of AT(shouldnt be stuck with KABF for long) and 1 pound of Ezzo...hope the girlfriend likes them!  She loves Boars Head, how do they ezzos compare, anyone know?

oh heres the formula for the pizza in the pics

Flour-100%
H20-65%
Yeast-.4%
Salt-2.5%
Sugar-1%
Oil-2%

mixed 2 minutes by hand
30 min autolyse
pushed and folded several times(french method?)
rested 40 minutes
2 folds, then balled
rest 10 minutes and window paned
fridge for 30-32 hours

Online Jackie Tran

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Re: "The elusive yet perfect pie"...you can say that again!
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2011, 08:53:27 AM »
What was the difference in the 2 baking times and temps?   A guestimate will do.

Chau

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: "The elusive yet perfect pie"...you can say that again!
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2011, 08:55:05 AM »
KABF is 12.7% protein, while your AT is 14.2% - a huge difference (plus the benefit of bromate). Your workflow suggests minimal gluten development in the mix stage, and a long ferment. With AT, it seems you can just look at it and gluten lines up. KABF might be able to develop that kind of gluten with your mix regimen, but 30 hours in the fridge might be too long - the gluten might break down.

What it comes down to, is that your picture perfect crumb comes from, among other things, a very well developed gluten structure. One that can hold lots of gas without busting - hence the wide open crumb. Adjust your hand mix/turns to a higher number of times, and try 18-24 in the fridge if you continue with KABF.

John

Offline wucactus1

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Re: "The elusive yet perfect pie"...you can say that again!
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2011, 08:56:24 AM »
The baking times were different but not much...The perfect crumb pizza baked in 5 minutes in a preheated oven at 550 for 1h 15min and the pies I just made were done the same but needed an added 30-45 under the broiler as it was looking pale in comparison to the "perfect pie".  Both had equal char on the bottoms perhaps this recent pie a little less, but not much.

Offline wucactus1

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Re: "The elusive yet perfect pie"...you can say that again!
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2011, 09:02:20 AM »
dellavecchia I agree with everything you said and I worked the gluten in the dough until it window paned... almost thinner than what Varsano shows on his website so i thought this was enough, guess not...I figured the gluten was the problem and I am quickly becoming aware of the fact that kneading and gluten develop is by far the most important aspect of baking, not just pizza but anything.  Its not a real science, but an art and is extremely frustrating at times...


Online Jackie Tran

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Re: "The elusive yet perfect pie"...you can say that again!
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2011, 09:18:05 AM »
I agree with John.  You should also consider lowering your hydration ratio a couple of points to match your flour.   You'll find that will get you back to familiar territory. 

Good luck,
Chau

Offline wucactus1

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Re: "The elusive yet perfect pie"...you can say that again!
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2011, 09:28:54 AM »
So jump down to 63% for the KABF...yeah this may help the dough hold its strength a little better for sure.  Next time I make pizza my order from penn mac should be in and I try once more and see what happens...Ill make a AT dough at 65 and a KABF at 63 and try to figure out if AT is really what it is portrayed as(I think it is the greatest HG pizza flour on the planet).  When I do this experiment should I knead the doughs equally to the point where the AT dough feels perfect and then bake and observe, or just knead them both until they feel good and measure that difference and bake, this was I get two potentially good pies instead of 1...this seems like a silly question, but I have already typed it and am posting it, but I think I know the answer...

How have your pies been Chau, havent seen posts from you in a while...

Offline scott123

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Re: "The elusive yet perfect pie"...you can say that again!
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2011, 11:19:14 AM »
rest 10 minutes and window paned
fridge for 30-32 hours


David, no cold fermented dough, especially one made with AT, should ever window pane prior to refrigeration. Your cumulative mix/fold time may be minimal, but when you include the gluten forming rests, it adds up. I've always been pretty anti-fold because it's outside the realm of traditional NY style pizzamaking, but, after seeing Chau's results and the Tartine thread, I've backed off a bit.  If you want to fold, go for it, but, if the dough is smooth enough to window pane, lose at least one rest.

Regarding the flour... don't waste your money on KABF.  Sure, there's other factors involved, but you pretty much have two images that display the crumb differences between AT and an AT/KABF blend.  KABF is garbage. Next time you run out of AT, you'd be better off sacrificing a bit of chew and buying all purpose.

Also, stop paying shipping on flour. There's 4 Gordon Food Services in Louisville and 1 in Lexington.  You probably won't find All Trumps, but you will find something comparable- at a fraction of the cost of Bova.

http://www.gfs.com/en/store-locator.page

I believe flour selection varies.  Scott R speaks highly of the Primo Gusto (GFS house brand), but, from seeing the pies others have made from it, I'm not completely sold. I would probably go with a bromated bouncer or kyrol, if they have it.

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: "The elusive yet perfect pie"...you can say that again!
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2011, 12:01:39 PM »
KABF is garbage.

Ha! I make all of my Tartine loaves with KABF. Love the stuff. Also, I believe we are at the beginning of a little renaissance in home pizza making - foregoing mixers and developing our doughs through folds and rests.

John
« Last Edit: February 06, 2011, 03:52:10 PM by dellavecchia »

Offline scott123

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Re: "The elusive yet perfect pie"...you can say that again!
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2011, 12:36:01 PM »
John, I don't doubt that your Tartine loaves are wonderful.  It only means, though, that, with your advanced skills, you've managed to compensate for KABF's shortcomings. IMO, bakers with lesser experience shouldn't have to compensate.

Look at the photos.  Photo 1: The poster child KABF oven spring deprived crumb.  Photo 3 (the perfect pie): All Trumps at it's best.  You couldn't get a better visual representation of the impact of KABF on dough.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2011, 12:37:52 PM by scott123 »

Offline scott r

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Re: "The elusive yet perfect pie"...you can say that again!
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2011, 12:47:58 PM »
Scott R speaks highly of the Primo Gusto (GFS house brand), but, from seeing the pies others have made from it, I'm not completely sold. I would probably go with a bromated bouncer or kyrol, if they have it.

The scotts agree!   Kyrol and Bouncer are excellent, as is All trumps, and there is no reason any of us should be paying shipping for american flour.     Scott, My feeling is that most american bromated flours are very similar, not necessarily that primo gusto is anything special.   It is one of the flours I found in the trash years ago at the harlem patsy's, but there are others I have found there too.   I think they buy whatever is on sale.   Their pizza is always above average, but it could be that it would be a little better if they were using a better flour.  

Of course everything factors in to creating a magical dough, but I also think the main issue with having a hard time recreating the original dough is probably the flour......again the scotts agree.   KABF is much harder to make an amazing pizza with than all trumps at 550 degrees.   I only time I have made really great pizza with it is with wild yeast, high temps, and a very slow 24 hour room temp fermentation.  At these temps bromate can screw up the texture, and even then there are other better choices.  I think wild yeast at high temps is probably going to make great pizza with any flour.   The only non bromated flour I have found that can come close to these bromated american flours is harvest king or better for bread (same flour).    It is available at most grocery stores, and it is a flour that everyone should try before paying for shipping.   Its still tricky to get a bromated type crumb with this flour, but it is at least closer to that pillowy soft yet crispy goal that most of us are looking for.  

The other thing I see that could be an issue is the yeast amount.     The more yeast you use the smaller that window gets where the dough is performing at its peak.   with all the temperature differences going on in our small household refrigerators and around our homes, especially this time of year, higher yeast amounts can make it harder to hit that fermentation bullseye.    Even though you may have used .4% yeast for the magical pie, that yeast amount is not part of the secret.   I think if you dropped the yeast a little you might actually have better luck duplicating it by widening that window for the perfect amount of fermentation.  


Good luck all!  
« Last Edit: February 06, 2011, 12:55:53 PM by scott r »

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: "The elusive yet perfect pie"...you can say that again!
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2011, 01:43:24 PM »
John, I don't doubt that your Tartine loaves are wonderful.  It only means, though, that, with your advanced skills, you've managed to compensate for KABF's shortcomings. IMO, bakers with lesser experience shouldn't have to compensate.

Look at the photos.  Photo 1: The poster child KABF oven spring deprived crumb.  Photo 3 (the perfect pie): All Trumps at it's best.  You couldn't get a better visual representation of the impact of KABF on dough.

Scott - Agreed. I don't think KABF is the flour of choice when it comes to NY pizza, and you should not have to compensate. For reference, the below was baked this morning at 500 for 12 minutes. It is pizza in teglia with 75% KABF and 25% Guisto's Ultimate Performer. This was a hand mix/fold, 48 hour cold ferment, with .7 CY @ 80% hydration.

Have you ever used 100% Ultimate Performer for a NY style, cold ferment dough? Do you know how it would compare to AT (w/o bromate)?

John

Offline wucactus1

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Re: "The elusive yet perfect pie"...you can say that again!
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2011, 09:07:10 PM »
So through my trial and errors I am sure I have gotten it to the point where my recipe is solid, except for the yeast level on occasion and that the real missing link is the proper gluten development(the hardest thing to measure scientifically).  I have looked up GFS and there product lists before, but it is pretty far from my apartment and I dont have a car, so In a way its not cheaper, but more convienient for me to order and have it shipped...and if I have to order it I might as well get the best.  I tried to talk to a pizzeria here in town that uses AT and see if they would sell me a bag...I just got a stare literally...so that fell through...But with that said...I will be making a trip out to GFS as soon as the 10 lbs of AT runs out again, which shouldnt be too long.  In their product guide they have Bouncer(baystate) or Enriched Primo Giusto in 50lbs...So I have read and both are liked, but whats the best...or should I say which is bromated, because I feel that this makes superior pies...
As far as my procedure,  should the dough not be a smooth ball before going into the fridge?  I have heard both sides...some say smooth, some say "cottage cheese", I feel that the period spent in the fridge is rather short, 30-36 hours and that nothing really happens in the fridge as far as strengthening goes, as the skins have always stretched extremely easily, but this could be the resort of the high hydration...at this point nothing will really resolve the issue, but experimenting...and I have been restricted to baking pizza only twice a month, due to its supposed impact on the electric bill...I could and would make pizza everyday if I could...I love it, but I hate it.  Its one of those things that is so sensitive, but this very trait is what makes it more attractive, because when it happens its magical...its art

In question about the yeast...If do lower it lets say to .28/.35 what are you referring to as the window?  The amount of days that it could rest in the fridge before blowing out/the amount of time that I could actually use the dough within the given window and get good results(these sort of go hand in hand)

Again kneading procedures and fermentation, the two most complicated things in any form of baking still elude me...and I used to think cold fermentation eased things up a bit but it seems that it only complicates it with this added element of underkneading to compensate for the strengthening that happens in the fridge...Should I just try a same day dough with a 12/15h rise and IDY, in order to simplify or is this short amount of time useless with out a starter(dont get me started on starters and there complexities...I find them and all their variants confusing as well)

Offline chickenparm

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Re: "The elusive yet perfect pie"...you can say that again!
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2011, 11:20:19 PM »
Let me just chime in and say the pics you posted still have way better crumb and spring/rise over so many genuine NY style pies I have eaten over the years past.They look great,regardless.
 :pizza:
I would not be a slave to the rim rise and crumb results too much with a new flour you are trying out..how did the pie taste overall? How did it fold,flop,and was it crunchy or soft,or in between, that is to your liking?

-Bill

Online Jackie Tran

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Re: "The elusive yet perfect pie"...you can say that again!
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2011, 11:48:56 PM »
So jump down to 63% for the KABF...yeah this may help the dough hold its strength a little better for sure.  Next time I make pizza my order from penn mac should be in and I try once more and see what happens...Ill make a AT dough at 65 and a KABF at 63 and try to figure out if AT is really what it is portrayed as(I think it is the greatest HG pizza flour on the planet).  When I do this experiment should I knead the doughs equally to the point where the AT dough feels perfect and then bake and observe, or just knead them both until they feel good and measure that difference and bake, this was I get two potentially good pies instead of 1...this seems like a silly question, but I have already typed it and am posting it, but I think I know the answer...

How have your pies been Chau, havent seen posts from you in a while...

Yes, 63% should get you closer to where you want to be, maybe even 62% but try 63% first and try lowering the oil to 1%.   It's all experimentation to see what works.   Sorry I've been traveling all day so just barely getting to post via laptop instead of cell phone. 

AT's is a good bromated flour but not the best.  I did a comparison some time ago against my usual Sam's Club HG flour and I like the Sam's Club HG bromated flour better.  It produced a lighter crumb but of course it could just be that I have more experience with it and not enough with the AT's.  At that time, I had only used it a couple of times.  If I was doing the experiment myself comparing AT's bromated to KABF, I would adjust the recipe and knead until both feel right however long that takes.  It's not scientific, but I trust my senses and think that would produce a more consistent and fair comparison. 

After a year and a half of making pizza with every different kind of flour that I could get my hands on, trying various hydrations levels, kneading techniques, varying levels of gluten development, trying all the different types of yeast, cold ferments vs emergency doughs and everything inbetween, every different combination of variables that I could think of and posting much of it, I have finally started zoning in on my ultimate pies.  I'm currently working on perfecting the dough and will soon decide what type of oven I need to bake it in to do the dough justice.   I have shared as much of my findings as I could in great detail.  I have become tired of the process and will likely be doing less and less in the future. 

Chau
« Last Edit: February 06, 2011, 11:57:02 PM by Jackie Tran »